She reached down and cupped him beneath her before he could grip her wrist. In an instant her seductive look vanished, though she showed no surprise that he wasn't hard. She felt around his cock, then arched an eyebrow to say, "Well, my word, Wroth. If you were hard, I wouldn't know whether to be tantalized or terrified."
Then with blurring speed she was off him, and in the bed, lying on her stomach, chin propped on her hands. She was utterly unaffected by what had just occurred, while he was angered and...shamed that she'd felt him like this. He wanted to show her hard...
"How do you plan to keep me here during the day? An unblooded Forbearer shouldn't be so hard to vanquish."
Vanquished by her? Amusing. "I'll send you back to the cell. You want to be my pet? I'll take you out and put you back in your cage at my pleasure."
She blinked at him. "You don't want to send me back. Who will entertain you? I can deal poker and make shadow animals."
He shook himself. This was just another instance of the Lore playing with them. She was not normal. He knew that anything he'd learned about females was inapplicable with her.
If she could be unaffected, he could pretend it. "I need you to answer some questions. I need to know what you are and what your name is."
"I'll answer your questions if you answer mine."
"Done," he said quickly. "Ask."
"Were you afraid when Kristoff stood over you?"
"I was...tired." Strange question.
"Most mortals would have been terrified to see the Gravewalker."
"Is that what he's called?" Kristoff would find that amusing. At her nod, he said, "Well, I'd seen a lot by that time."
"What's his agenda? Does he want to replace Demestriu?"
Wroth hesitated, then answered honestly, hoping that she would do the same. "He wants his crown back, but he doesn't want to rule over any faction but our own."
"Uh-huh." She raised an eyebrow as if she didn't believe him, then asked, "That was your brother in the dungeon?"
"Turned vampires don't usually have family within the Horde."
"Murdoch died in the same battle. I've two other brothers turned later as well."
"You're young. Yet you're a general. How'd you swing that?"
He was over three hundred years old. Young compared to her? "I refused the dark gift if certain conditions weren't met."
Her eyes grew bright with new interest, and she patted the bed for him to come sit with her. He felt he was on the verge of learning something, so he complied, resting against the headboard to face her, stretching his legs out. He almost laughed. The first time he'd been in bed with a woman in centuries, and she was easily the most beautiful of any before - and he could do nothing with her. He couldn't even drink her, though his fangs ached to pierce the pale column of her neck. Thank God he'd fed before she'd been brought up.
"Wroth, you countered with Kristoff as you lay dying?"
When she put it like that it sounded more reckless than it had been. As Wroth had lain in his own cooling blood, nearly freed of the constant struggle, the ongoing war and famine and plague, he'd told Kristoff, "You need me more than I need to live."
Kristoff had seen him in many battles and agreed. "I did counter. I was used to giving orders and would take them from no one but a powerful king. I wanted my brother turned if he was dying, and trusted compatriots as well. Kristoff complied." That wasn't all. Wroth had asked for sixty years so he and Murdoch could watch over the rest of their living family - their father, four sisters and two other brothers.
They'd needed only three months.
"You know, I'd heard of you when you were a human. Weren't you called the Overlord?"
This surprised him. "On kinder tongues. How could you have heard of me? Your accent isn't from the northlands."
She sighed. "Not anymore. I'd heard of you because I'm interested in all things martial. You were quite the vicious leader."
He felt his expression grow cold. "We were defending. I was anything I needed to be to see it done." He could tell by her reaction that she liked his answer. Her lips parted as she tilted her head at him. Then she sidled closer to him on the bed as if she couldn't help herself.
Her voice more gentle, she said, "But in the end you lost."
He stared past her. "Everything." The battle had only been like the final blow on a dying man. Prior to that, the enemy had scorched and salted their lands. Famine followed and there'd been no defending when plague erupted.
"Wroth," she said softly. He turned his gaze to her. Her eyes were so captivating in her elven-like face, so clear and lucid at this moment. "Let's make a pact, you and I." She eased open his legs to kneel between them. "Let's vow that we won't harm the other in this room." She pressed him back until he lay fully on the rolled pillow. What would she do next?
When he gave her one quick nod, she flashed him a warm smile that made him feel praised in some way. Her damp hair was spilling down over his legs, and with the back of her hand, she swung it to one side, baring her tantalizing neck. A rush of the innate scent of her hair swept him up, like a drug. Sweet and subtle, just like her skin. If she smelled like this, he couldn't imagine what she would taste like. He wished she'd bared her flesh in offer to him.
"Wroth, this is embarrassing," she murmured in a sensual voice, "but I think I've caught you staring at my neck."
"You did," he admitted, oddly feeling no shame to be contemplating his order's most reviled crime.